Saratoga County economic development group gets initial members
SARATOGA COUNTY The first seven directors, three of them county supervisors, have been named to lead Saratoga County’s new economic development authority.
The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to formally create Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership Inc., which will take the lead role in the county’s economic development and marketing.
Supervisor John Lawler of Waterford, the Economic Development Committee chairman, was named to the board of directors, as were supervisors Anita Daly of Clifton Park and Art Johnson of Wilton. All three are Republicans who have been involved in the county’s economic development efforts for years.
Also serving on the board will be:
• Brendan Chudy, senior manager and deputy director of legal affairs at GlobalFoundries.
• Omar Usmani, executive partner of the Aeon Nexus Corp. and a member of the Capital Region Economic Development Council.
• Penny Hill, associate dean at Hudson Valley Community College and director of the college’s TEC-SMART program in Malta.
• Ray Callanan, chairman of the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency and a former Ballston town supervisor.
“We are thrilled to have such strong commitments from four high-profile people whose knowledge and expertise will put us in a great position for a whole range of initiatives we did not have before,” Lawler said.
The members will serve two-year terms, by appointment of the Board of Supervisors.
Chudy will give authority members insight into the tech industry and issues at the Luther Forest Technology Campus, Lawler said, while Hill could be instrumental in qualifying the tech park for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program, which is geared to connecting companies with existing college campuses.
The Prosperity Partnership won’t come into official existence until incorporation papers are filed with the state Department of State. Once that happens, Lawler said the seven board members will meet, elect a chairman and beginorganizing and hiring staff.
The incorporation plan approved by supervisors allows for up to 15 members to serve on the board.
The Prosperity Partnership is being created in the wake of the county government’s split a year ago from the Saratoga Economic Development Corp., which had done the county’s marketing for 35 years. SEDC continues to operate, but won’t be part of the new partnership.
“I think it’s a turning point for Saratoga County. It’s a really big deal,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Sausville, R-Malta, said prior to the vote Tuesday at a meeting in Ballston Spa.
An economic development strategic plan approved by supervisors in March called for establishing the new authority, with a staff that would include an executive director, economic development specialist and administrative support. The anticipated annual budget would be $500,000.
The plan cited three areas in which the county should concentrate its economic development efforts: business and industry (particularly advanced manufacturing and research and development), tourism and agriculture.